Dear Foundation Friends,
The earthquake woke me up at 4:30 in the morning with violent shaking. Suddenly, the plate glass windows of the apartment building behind mine shattered. Then aftershocks came, one after another, with nearly the same intensity. Gas lines across the Los Angeles basin opened up and fires began to rage across the valley. The initial earthquake measured 6.7 on the Richter scale. The destruction of Los Angeles was epic.
Earthquakes are a series of unexpected, disastrous events that result in chaos and lasting damage. The ground beneath my feet feels unstable right now, as if an earthquake is happening, but this time the fault lines are created by human actions. The traumatic series of events that have occurred over the past weeks highlight cracks in every part of civil society. Unequal support has resulted in unstable foundations.
But there is also opportunity, like restoration after an earthquake. We can work together to change broken systems and institutionalized biases. I believe we can do the work here in our valley, by showing each other kindness, treating each other with respect, by providing space for civil conversation, and by embracing measurable change. We start by helping each other with the basics, like making sure there is enough food so that hunger is off the table.
Hunger is off the table this summer, thanks to all of you. Two generous donors gave $50,000 as a challenge grant to the Response Fund, to assist nonprofits providing food for members of our community. With local gifts, we have met that challenge and $100,000 will now go towards feeding our community through the summer. This is how you have begun the work of rebuilding.
There is much to do and the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole can’t do it without you. Let’s work together to renovate our country by starting at the community level. Our volunteerism, contributions, and voices can solve the inequities, right injustices, provide access to services, and put our community on equal and firm ground.
The nation is shaking at its foundations. Together we are the answer.
Stay safe and healthy,
President, Community Foundation of Jackson Hole